FIA Expo Update: What We’ve Been Up to Since Launching EP3 at FIA Boca

By: Jim Downs, CEO

Back in March at the FIA Boca conference, we made one of our biggest company announcements in recent years: the launch of our EP3 (Exchange Platform 3) solution. As we approach FIA’s other centerpiece event of the year — the FIA Expo in Chicago this week — we thought it was a fitting time to provide an update on the key happenings at Connamara since then. While there is not one singular large update to share, 2019 has been quite a year — and it’s not over yet.

To tie back to our Boca announcement, we onboarded our first EP3 client over the summer. That client, MaterialsXchange, is launching a marketplace for raw materials such as lumber, and that exchange has been built with EP3. It has been a great experience working with MaterialsXchange, and we were thrilled to see the exchange officially go live on Monday and complete its first transaction. MaterialsXchange engaged us in July, and together we got to the first transaction in just four months! We look forward to continuing to help them bring transparency and efficiency into the raw materials marketplace.

EP3 has also seen many technical improvements since its launch seven months ago. Among other things, we have added:

  • REST API service to EP3, which provides another standard endpoint for customer-developed web applications, in addition to our high performance gRPC API, to interact with EP3 Foundation Services.
  • Positions/Real Time PnL, a new service that publishes changes to customer open positions and the profit and loss of those positions for consumption by downstream applications (e.g. risk management applications and trading screens). 
  • Firm Hierarchy, a system that supports exchange operators to efficiently manage complex groups of exchange participants belonging to a single firm.

Connamara will also be added to a well regarded API ecosystem, which means that any existing or new clients of that ecosystem will be able to access EP3. Stay tuned for more details on this partnership in early 2020.

Of course, EP3 isn’t the only area where we’ve seen growth. We previously wrote about our work with the QuickFIX open-source project, and will be launching a new version, QuickFIX/N v1.9, this week. Connamara remains dedicated to the principles of open source, and we will continue to devote effort toward the democratization of technology.

Overall, we have added 12 new clients since Boca, including MaterialsXchange. This group of new clients also includes our first firm outside of capital markets, a company in the employee benefits management space. We truly believe that matching engine technology can benefit a wide range of fields, and we look forward to continuing to expand.

Internally, we expanded our team as well — our most recent hire, Full-Stack Engineer James Kim, just started last week and has already been a huge help. Overall, we are now up to 30 Connamarians, including engineers, business analysts, project managers, and designers. As for that last category, those of you who receive our Connamara Quarterly newsletter know that we’re tinkering with incorporating UX design into our agile development process. This has been an interesting challenge, but given the importance of user experience, it is a worthwhile journey.

Finally, we unveiled our board of advisors earlier this month. While a board of three may seem small, we believe our board is unrivaled in terms of the relevant expertise and insight that Peter, Maureen, and Travis can bring to us. While the milestones we’ve hit this year have been significant, we have to continue to look toward the future and never stop searching for improvement.

As for the present, we look forward to regrouping with many of our industry colleagues over the next few days at FIA Expo. We will be on-site both Wednesday and Thursday, and our CEO, Jim Downs, will be participating in the “Products of Tomorrow” panel at 2pm on Wednesday. (You can view the full program schedule here.) If you will be there, let us know!

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